Overall, the U.S. economy exceeded expectations, adding 117,000 jobs in July, but as has been the case for a long while, there’s a major gap between the public and private sectors. Businesses added 154,000 jobs over the month, while 37,000 jobs were lost in the public sector at the same time, thanks to budget cuts at the state and local level.
Those are, by the way, budget cuts Republicans are desperate to bring to the federal level. GOP officials see state and local agencies shedding jobs and holding back the economy, and they seriously believe we should be doing more of this everywhere.
The July private-sector totals were the best since April, and both May and June numbers were revised upwards.
Just to be clear, these are encouraging data relative to where we were and what we were expecting, but much more needs to be done. Anyone looking at the new jobs report thinking, “Whew! I guess we’re back on track!” is making a big mistake.
And with that, here’s a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. (The chart is now smaller to fit the redesigned website.)